A Binishell house under construction in Esquimalt is the first of its kind in Canada. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Victoria-area ‘inflatable home’ the first in Canada

Housing company says Binishell structures eco and affordability-friendly

Victoria’s – and Canada’s – first ever ‘inflatable home’ or ‘Binishell’ is going up in an Esquimalt neighbourhood. And while it might look like a large tent is being installed, the Binishell is actually used as a building system that cuts down on costs.

The home is the first for Nouvel Housing Inc. – the Canadian partner and licensee of the Binishell technology. It received approval from Esquimalt council in 2018 and a building permit in January. The 3,800-square-foot duplex will have a garage, bonus room, balcony and up to 20-foot-high cathedral ceilings.

“The formwork itself is inflatable, and the shell is built outside of that,” said Brittany Olney of Nouvel Housing. “It’s seismically sound, [and] it’s going to cost you significantly less. There’s a fraction of the maintenance.”

READ ALSO: Vancouver Island residents say municipalities are not moving fast enough on affordable housing

Nouvel Housing Inc. is in the process of constructing Canada’s first ever Binishell home in Esquimalt. (Facebook/Nouvel Housing)

So how does it work? A patented pneumoform is fastened to a pad or foundation and inflated to maintain constant temperature and pressure. Polyurethane foam is evenly sprayed over the structure and once it has set, the ‘tent’ below is deflated and stored for the next house.

Rebar reinforcement and 4.5 inches of specialized shotcrete are applied. Finally, a weatherproofing membrane is added with a stucco finish and custom accents.

Because they use less material and labour, Nouvel Housing Inc. said the homes are half the cost – an answer, at least in part, to affordability barriers across the province.

“Because we are able to produce this so much faster, use less material and produce less waste, we’re cutting down on time and labour which is cutting our costs down as well,” Olney said.

The homes also boast some environmental benefits, Nouvel said it can reuse the pnemoform up to 100 times and produces less waste. Its structures also use zero thermal bridging – the building envelopes are made from a single material with a consistent depth, which, when insulated properly, optimize energy efficiency.

The company is working on four other buildings in Greater Victoria, three on Salt Spring Island and one in the Interior.

READ ALSO: Housing experts host inclusionary housing workshop in Victoria



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Richard Cannings re-elected in South Okanagan-West Kootenay

It was a close race with Conservative challenger Helena Konanz

Filling the void; Success story for Kootenay-to-Kelowna bus service

Trail-based bus line took over the Kelowna run after Greyhound Canada put a stop to it

Kootenay grocer eliminates plastic bags at checkout

Only compostable and recycled trays are now used in the Ferraro Foods meat department

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

In the news: Liberals eke out a win, but will need NDP, Green support to pass bills

Conservatives say they are ready if Trudeau should falter

‘Wexit’ talk percolates day after Liberals returned to power with minority

An online petition is calling for a western alliance and Alberta to separate

South Okanagan-West Kootenay candidates talk climate change and environment at recent forum

Forum on Tuesday grilled candidates about plan to bring about low carbon emission economy

Video: Meet your South Okanagan–West Kootenay candidates

Candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

Teck announces roll out of electric buses for Elk Valley operations

Hon. Michelle Mungall says it’s great to see Teck taking action on climate change

Federal election saw 66% of registered voters hit the polls across Canada

Roughly 18 million people cast their ballots, voting in a Liberal minority government

Alleged RCMP secret leaker must stay with B.C. parents while on bail

Cameron Ortis, 47, is charged with violating the Security of Information Act

‘Inconsistent’ message on climate change hurt Liberals at the polls: SFU prof

Trudeau government will have to make concessions to hold onto power

Opposition to Trans Mountain won’t change, B.C. minister says

Pipeline projects proceed under minority Trudeau government

Most Read